Google is slowly creeping past all the pre-1990s technology behemoths, recently surpassing Microsoft as the second most valuable technology company, second only to Apple. While Apple is still splurging out iPhones, iPads, Macs and selling millions of apps and music per day, they are starting to lose a lot of shareholders trust, while Google just seems to gradually gain and gain.
This could mean in a few years Google is not only the most valuable technology company in the world, but the most valuable company in the world. However, unlike Apple, Exxon and other big companies who have stockpiles of net cash, Google decides to spend this on moonshot projects or acquisitions, to further their business.
Google Striding Past Apple
Apple still has the advantage on Google in some situations, adding market cap and net cash brings Apple’s total $378 billion, a pretty slender amount compared to two years ago, when Apple was flying high as the most expensive company in the world. However, only $233 billion is actual market cap, the other $145 billion is money Apple has saved for a rainy day.
Google has $286 billion market cap and only $45 billion net cash, this brings Google’s actual cost higher than Apple’s but because Apple has saved up more, they are still a more expensive company. However, different analysts use different methods to make out what company is more valuable and some are starting to draw the $8 billion difference in Google’s favour.
Google vs Apple
The two companies have very different views of technology. Apple works on fewer things and is a very closed company, unlike Google who push open standards and open platforms for all developers. Apple believe in creating a perfect product through focus and practice, while Google find practice, failure and creativity to make a more expandable, transparent and innovative environment.
In many ways Google should be seen as one of the least recommendable companies in the world, they take risks and more products end up failing and costing Google millions, while Apple works in house to redevelop and make sure their products are perfect and rarely slip up.
However, this makes Google an easier company for failure. When Apple fails or when market share falters, the shareholders grasp it is not in the same leadership model it was under Steve Jobs or the innovation is just not there any more. Shareholders are more tangible with Google because they understand the company as one that fails and tries again.
That’s not to say Google has not got dominance and power in areas. Search, advertising, information, email, maps and mobile are all places Google has on lock-down, even if the platforms and APIs are open for others to use. People may see Samsung as the big winner on Android, but realistically Google could always charge Samsung for the privilege, so they must be making a fair amount on Android apps and other services.
Google is envisioning a future of WiFi balloons, super fast Internet, space elevators, augmented reality, self driving cars and helpful services in houses. They’re thinking about how Google can work in the real world and the virtual world. This is what really drives investors and people into the Google world, the whole mystery and excitement of the new products they are creating and thinking up.
This is what separates Apple and Google. Apple is a product company, they think about how the industries already available can be better with Apple products. They create arguably the best computers, notebooks, phones, tablets and mp3s in the world, but they were not the first.
Perhaps in the future Google will create the markets Apple dominates 5 years later. This is how they’re separated, Google is looking in the next 20 years while Apple is trying to figure out how to vastly improve the present.